The festive season is now in full swing in India. We just celebrated Varamahalakshmi Pooja, Onam and Raksha Bandhan, and Janmashtami is just around the corner. Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Pasi Paruppu Payasam, a delicious kheer you can prepare for the upcoming festivities.
Janmashtami, in different parts of India
Janmashtami, the birthday of God Krishna, is celebrated with great aplomb in most parts of India.
In Gujarat, where I grew up, it is customary to offer Dhania Panchajeeri as prasad on the occasion of Janmashtami. Milk, ghee and butter are also common offerings as it is believed that baby Krishna absolutely adored dairy products. The same goes for poha aka beaten/flattened rice. Many observe a fast on the day of the festival, only consuming dishes like Sabudana Khichdi, Rajgira (amaranth) pooris and no-onion, no-garlic aloo sabzi (called ‘farali‘ in Gujarati and Hindi).
In South India too, dishes made using poha (‘aval‘ in Tamil) and/or liberal amounts of milk, butter and ghee are offered as prasad on the occasion of Janmashtami. Various other sweets and savouries are also prepared for the festival, like vada, seedai, thattai, murukku, appam, laddoo and different types of Payasam (kheer). In case one is unable to prepare an elaborate spread, navaneetam (white butter mixed with sugar) and sukku vellam (jaggery mixed with dry ginger powder) are the simplest of prasad one can offer.
What is Pasi Paruppu Payasam?
Pasi Paruppu Payasam is a festive sweet delicacy quite common in Tamilnadu, Kerala and Karnataka. It refers to kheer made using moong dal (‘payatham paruppu‘ or ‘pasi paruppu‘ in Tamil). It is a super easy dessert that even a beginner cook can ace. It is an extremely delicious thing, too! No wonder it finds pride of place on our dining table on many a festive occasion! 😊
We prepare Pasi Paruppu Payasam without milk, with freshly ground coconut added in for flavour and creaminess. Mom adds raisins and cashewnuts fried in ghee, but I have skipped that in a bid to make the payasam vegan. Jaggery is used in this payasam instead of refined sugar.
So, this particular Pasi Paruppu Payasam is not just simple to make and delish, but also completely vegan (plant-based) and gluten-free. What more do you need from a sweet dish, eh?
How I make Pasi Paruppu Payasam
Here is how I go about it.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1. 3/4 cup moong dal
2. 1 cup jaggery
3. 3/4 cup fresh grated coconut
4. 10-12 cashewnuts
6. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1. Dry roast the moong dal on medium flame in a heavy-bottomed pan for about 2 minutes or till it becomes fragrant. Switch off gas.
2. Immediately transfer the roasted moong dal to a plate. Allow it to cool down completely.
3. Transfer the roasted and cooled moong dal to a wide vessel. Add in 2 cups of water.
4. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for about 4 whistles or till the moong dal is completely cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.
5. When the pressure has fully gone down, get the cooked moong dal out. Mash it well.
6. Transfer the mashed moong dal to the same heavy-bottomed pan we used earlier. Place on medium flame and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir intermittently.
7. Now add the jaggery to the pan. Continue to cook on medium flame for 2-3 more minutes. Stir intermittently.
8. Meanwhile, grind the grated coconut to a paste, along with a little water. Keep it ready.
9. When the moong dal and jaggery mixture has started to thicken and come together, add in the ground coconut paste. Mix well.
10. Cook for about 2 minutes more on medium flame or till the mixture thickens to the consistency you require. Switch off gas.
11. Mix in the cardamom powder.
12. Chop up the cashewnuts roughly. Toast them lightly in a small pan till they turn crisp, taking care not to burn them. Add the toasted cashewnuts to the pan. Mix well. Your Pasi Paruppu Payasam is ready to serve. Serve it hot or at room temperature, as per personal taste preferences.
Other festival recipes on the blog
There are several festival-special recipes on my blog already.
You might want to visit my recipes for Pottukadalai Maa Laddoo, Verkadalai Ladu, Walnut Laddoo, Carrot Payasam, Semiya Payasam, Aval Payasam, Oat Milk Payasam, Elaneer Payasam, Nei Payasam, Rava Kesari, Pineapple Kesari Bath, Strawberry Kesari Bath and Vella Payaru.
Speaking of festival recipes, I’m completely in love with Narmadha’s Madurai Special Bhai Ice Cream! Can’t wait to try it out.
Tips & Tricks
1. Roast the moong dal carefully, ensuring that it does not get burnt. Roast it on a medium flame, just enough to make it fragrant. Some people skip this step and pressure cook the moong dal directly, but I prefer roasting it first.
2. Use a heavy-bottomed pan for best results.
3. I have used organic jaggery here, which does not have any impurities. If the jaggery you are using has impurities, dissolve it in a little warm water first, filter out the impurities and then add it to the pan. The colour of the Pasi Paruppu Payasam depends upon the colour of the jaggery you use.
4. Sugar can be used in place of the jaggery. We have always used jaggery in this Payasam in our family, and I prefer to do so. Adjust the quantity as per your family’s taste preferences.
5. Ready-to-use coconut milk can be used in place of the freshly ground coconut I have used here. You can also filter out the coconut residue and use just the milk in the payasam – I prefer using all of it.
6. If you are not averse to ghee, you may fry some raisins and cashewnuts in it and add this to the payasam, at the very end, when it is done cooking. Do not do this if you want the payasam to be vegan, though.
7. I have used ready-to-use powdered jaggery here. If you are using a jaggery block, powder it before beginning of make the payasam.
8. I powder a few tablespoons of green cardamom in my small mixer jar, along with their skins, store this in an air-tight jar and use as needed. Alternatively, you could use store-bought cardamom powder.
9. You can keep the consistency of the Pasi Paruppu Payasam as thick as you prefer. Remember to switch off the gas when it is still a bit runny, as it thickens up with time.
10. Some families add in milk to the payasam, to make it richer and more flavourful. If you are using milk, add it at the very end, after the payasam has been taken off the heat. Use boiled and cooled milk so that it doesn’t curdle in the presence of the jaggery used.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!